Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Road Trip!

For the past two days, I've been at a work-related conference in Lexington. I learned all kinds of good things about "green" building strategies and even taught a workshop about advanced framing techniques (which is a green strategy because it uses less lumber to build a house). One of the interesting things I learned is how much transportation affects low-income homeowners and how access to public transportation can help keep homeowners in their homes. There was also a lot about different kinds of ways to build homes to reduce the amount of energy they use and how we, as low-income housing builders, can work toward making this an achievable goal.

Anyway, on my way home from the conference, I took the wrong road out of town, so I ended up not on the interstate, but on a US highway instead. This road took me through Frankfort, which is Kentucky's capital city, so I decided to take a walk around the downtown and see what I could see.

As it turned out, I got to see a lot of nice, old brick buildings and one not-so-nice one, which was being worked on. I hope they can save it. Otherwise, there will be a gaping, ugly hole in the middle of the block. On the same block was a newer theater front that looked to be from the 1920's or so. It had some nice deco touches.

Another building I happened upon was Kentucky's Old State Capitol, which was the site of the assassination of William Goebel, whose statue proclaims him the "Martyr Governor." The base of the statue has a list of his accomplishments and a statement about him from William Jennings Bryan, as well as what are reported to have been his last words. One interesting quote attributed to him is about whether "corporations are the masters or the servants of the people," which seemed relevant to me today. From what I read on his Wikipedia page, I'm guessing this statement might have been in reference to the L&N Railroad, but in that day and age, it could have been one of any number of corporations.

It seems that Mr. Goebel was a populist when it served him, but he had plenty of enemies and was no stranger to controversy or double dealing. There's probably a book about this guy somewhere - maybe I'll do a little more reading. (At dinner last night, our current Lt. Governor spoke as part of the conferencee, and some of what he had to say makes me wonder about Big Coal's influence over current elected officials, which, to my mind, makes Mr. Goebel's quote nothing short of prescient.)

That's all I have this evening. Next time, I'll have a progress report on the Kristi socks and maybe the Kusha Kusha scarf too. Until then, friends.

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